Dudziak Compares Afghanistan and Vietnam in ‘The New York Times’

Dr. Mary L. Dudziak, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law and Associated Faculty in the History Department, was recently quoted in an article in The New York Times. The piece, “Afghanistan, Vietnam and the Limits of American Power,” collects analysis from historians about the parallels and differences between the U.S. wars in, and departures from, Vietnam and Afghanistan. Dudziak is the author of War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences (Oxford University Press, 2012). Her latest work, “Going to War: An American History,” is under contract with Oxford UP. Read an excerpt from The New York Times piece quoting Dudziak below, along with the full article.

“Mary L. Dudziak, a law professor at Emory University and the author of “War Time: An Idea, Its History, Its Consequences,” agreed that any attempt at reckoning would be short-lived, and that in the long term America could become even less constrained in its assertion of power.

“‘I expect that one similarity,’ she said, ‘will be a failure to grapple with the way U.S. political culture undermines a more robust politics of military restraint, and this hampers powerful political opposition within Congress, which might put a brake on the entry into and persistence of war.’

“What might have been a sustained, nuanced conversation about limiting the president’s war powers, she added, has been short-circuited by the frenzy to decide ‘who lost Afghanistan.’

“‘In our toxic political environment,’ Professor Dudziak said, ‘Republicans are likely to use this moment to undermine President Biden, and partisanship may foreclose the deeper re-examination of American war politics that is sorely needed now, and was also after the war in Vietnam.'”